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Tips for family and friends of people with bowel cancer

A person's bowel cancer diagnosis also has an impact on their family and friends.

Here are some tips for family and friends:

  • Feel free to ask the doctor questions if you accompany the person to his or her appointments, and they are happy for you to do so.
  • Be prepared for changes in the person's behaviour and mood
  • Encourage them to be as active and independent and confident as possible
  • Don't hesitate to ask other family members and friends for help. They will probably appreciate the opportunity.

Family and friends' stress

Although you may think 'it's not about me', family members and friends of a person coping with bowel cancer may also find the diagnosis and treatment stressful.

Tips for coping include:

  • Try to stay positive
  • Accept that things are often out of your control
  • Be assertive with your feelings
  • Try not to get angry, combative or passive
  • Find ways to relax
  • Take exercise to help combat stress
  • Eat healthily
  • Get enough rest and sleep
  • Avoid alcohol when stressed, it could make things worse.
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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on September 19, 2016

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